On Friday, Jan. 26, Gov. Tom Wolf held a press conference to announce that his administration was working toward making several positive changes to the state’s existing and cumbersome regulatory and permitting process – reducing permit backlogs, modernizing permitting processes and better utilizing technology to improve regulatory oversight and efficiency. This will include a request in Gov. Wolf’s budget of hiring more people within the Department of Environmental Protection.
Other efforts will include expanding the e-permitting system with several key development permits, to reduce paperwork between DEP and industry; creating a new analytics program to track permit times; releasing new review processes and registration practices to make application processes easier; and supporting legislation to bring permitting in line with the industry it is engaged with – for example, extending permit terms and allowing multi-well pad permitting.
Following the press conference, PA Chamber President Gene Barr issued a statement applauding the governor for taking steps toward reducing long-term regulatory burdens for the private sector. “Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction to making it easier for job creators to operate in the Commonwealth,” Barr said. “We look forward to working with the legislature and the Wolf administration on additional steps to improve the state’s regulatory and overall business climate.”